Appendicitis is the swelling or inflammation of a small tubular structure called appendix (it is a vestigial organ containing lymphatic tissue & serves no function in the digestive process) attached to the caecum of the large intestine. Sometimes the appendix burst to form peritonitis.
CAUSES: Appendicitis occurs owing to asphyxiation of the vermiform appendix. The vermiform appendix might be blocked & the blood supply to the appendix is reduced & eventually it dies. Accumulation of bacteria in the appendix causes the swelling & inflammation. This can end in perforation of the appendix & severe bacterial infection.
Faeces lodged in the lumen of appendix can cause blockage which may lead to appendicitis. The lymph nodes of the appendix may swell & block the lumen. The appendix can emanate thick mucus in the lumen. The mucus might bind with the cells of the appendix forming a thick substance which can again block the lumen of the appendix. The lumen can be ravaged with worms which can block the lumen & lead to appendicitis (especially in poor countries). The most common worm related with it is pinworm & schistomiasis. In rare cases tumor can cause appendicitis. The tumor can be in the appendix or can spread from other area. Wounding abdominal injuries in rare cases can cause appendicitis and also Genetic predisposition in some people might be the reason behind it.
TYPES OF APPENDICITIS:
ACUTE APPENDICITIS-- It develops faster & it can be detected easily.
CHRONIC APPENDICITIS--It is difficult to treat & it develops slowly.
ATYPICAL APPENDICITIS--It shows no symptom at all & the mortality rate of atypical appendicitis is very high.
SYMPTOMS: The most common symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain in the umbilical region which later moves to the right lower part. Other common symptoms are loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fever etc.
DETECTION: The patient is said to cough. If severe pain is felt in the abdominal region then it concludes that the patient is suffering from appendicitis. The upper region of the groin can be pressed forcefully at little intervals until the pain is felt. Then immediately the pressing is stopped. If a severe pain is felt then there might be a chance of the patient suffering from appendicitis. Continuous pressing on the lower abdomen on the left side will make the intestine move to the right & at the same time the pain is felt. If no pain is felt then the same can be done on the right side.
Anyone regardless of age & sex can develop appendicitis. However men have a higher chance of developing it. Kids aging from 3-15 years mostly develop acute appendicitis. Elder people have a higher chance of having atypical appendicitis.The patient can fully recover if it is detected in time & treated properly. If it detected late then it can pave the way to acute problem. It is found that a diet rich in fiber reduces the chance of developing appendicitis. Eat well and do take care of yourself.